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There’s just something special about watching something live. Whether it’s watching the news, SNL, award shows, or an episode of Monday Night Raw, going live is mesmerizing. The margin for error is nonexistent which naturally builds more drama. One mistake and that’s it, there are no take backs.

It’s fascinating because, thanks to social media, we too can now feel the rush of going live. We can share with the world what we’re doing at a precise moment, unedited and unfiltered. Granted, the pressure isn’t as intense as watching Tom Brokaw breaking a story but the adrenaline still pumps and the excitement is still there.  

Going live can be a useful tool for marketers. It allows them to create an experience for the consumer from a first hand point of view. Doing a live broadcast allows companies to show a side of themselves that may be harder to capture in a 10 second snap or in 140 characters.

The most useful benefit of going live is the immediate feedback consumers can give. Have an idea about a new product or service and want to check the temperature in the room? Go live. This won’t take place of the tried and true method of research but it’s a great way to “put your foot in the water.” The key to going live, as with most social media, is having the right person running the show. Having someone who doesn’t understand and appreciate the power of social media will most likely lead to a huge headache for your PR department.  

Social media has shortened the communication line between producer and consumer. What once would take weeks to say to a company can now be translated in seconds. Those who are forward thinking see this as a way to not only display great customer service in a public setting but to garner information in real time.

Knowledge is power, right?

As always, thanks for reading.

Crack the Code 

Apple is in a war.

The FBI wants the tech giant to write a code that will unlock the phone of the San Bernardino shooter. Apple has objected saying that making that code creates a backdoor to their iOs system, leaving the opportunity for hackers to infiltrate iPhones everywhere.

This isn’t going to be about if Apple is wrong or right and the ethics behind the story. We’ve already talked about how Apple is re-writing consumer behavior. The next chapter of this book is about trust.

No matter what the outcome maybe Apple has already won in the PR category. By standing up the FBI and refusing to create a code that has the potential to harm customers; Apple has drawn a line in the sand in defense of their clients.

Nothing creates loyalty like someone standing up for you. Apple is indirectly building their brand in a way that a lot of companies can’t, and wouldn’t do.

If Android runs into a similar situation (I hope not) and creates a code that has the potential to put their customers in a vulnerable state then Apple will look even better. Brand equity is so important in the era of social media. We’ve seen companies that don’t have it and crumble once a scandal hits. If the people don’t trust your brand then it’s only a matter of time before you’re exposed.

Apple will fight this until the bitter  end, and their customers are glad to see that.

As always, thanks for reading.

The Death of an Empire

Another Thanksgiving gone, another Black Friday has passed.

Not too long ago Black Friday was a time when shoppers could get the best deals of the year. TVs, game consoles, and many other items were flying off shelves faster than your grandmother’s apple pie. This year black friday sales haven’t been successful as previous years.

Why is that?

There are many. A lot of people, including myself, would rather wait and do all of our shopping on Cyber Monday. It’s easier, more convenient, and you don’t have to end Thanksgiving Dinner early to go stand in the cold. Other factors have contributed to the decline of Black Friday as well. Many stores started their sales weeks before and even extended them. People are finally realizing that Black Friday is nothing more than hype now. After seeing post on social media over the years of fights and other disorderly instances happening in stores, people would rather stay at home and shop later. Throw in the fact that many people are starting to realize people actually have to work on Thanksgiving just so they can save on a few items probably isn’t the best way to build karma.

I say all that to say this:

Black Friday is dying.

When Black Friday was all the rave there was one key component to its success. People can get a great deal but the window was small and the supply was minimal. I wasn’t too big on economics but I do know that the smaller the supply the more demand there is for it. If Target only has 25 TVs for a low price then the demand (people showing up to buy) will increase. By starting sales early and keeping them throughout the holidays lessens the need to stand in line late Thursday night. People can buy the same TV online or go to the store when they have the time.

Who knows, Black Friday may one day become obsolete.

As always, thanks for reading.